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What's Keeping You On Windows? 3212

schnell asks: "Here's something I've wondered about for a long time. While it seems that the majority of Slashdot readers are no fans of Microsoft, recent polls show that 47% of Slashdot Users are using Windows as their main OS (and I bet that number is much higher in server logs). So I have a two-fold question: 1) Is it just the 'vocal minority' that favors alternate OSes over Linux and 2) if not, what's keeping you from 'putting your money where your mouth is' - why are you using Windows? My own situation is that I use an IT-mandated Win98 (ugh) laptop at work, but at home I'm Mac OS X all the way. While I did pay Microsoft for Office for Mac, I try to avoid filling their coffers whenever possible, so for all the family/friends who rely on me for computer recommendations I recommend Mac or Linux. Do people like using Windows? Are games the driving factor? Or is it just 'the right tool for the job?'" It's a perennial question, and one that is fitting to review every so often, if only to see how far Open Source has come, and how far it needs to go.
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What's Keeping You On Windows?

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  • Two simple things... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dalroth ( 85450 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:30PM (#4680224) Homepage Journal
    1. Games
    2. Work

    1. Until ALL games run under Linux without much difficulty, I simply don't have any choice here. Nearly all the Xbox and PS/2 games in the world don't hold up to a single quality PC game.

    2. I work at a Microsoft only shop. It's sad, it's infuriating, and I have little choice. To VPN into work, connect to source safe, upload code to the servers, run terminal services, connect to SQL Server 2000 (Microsoft's only GOOD non-gaming product) I have to use windows.

  • well.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by nege ( 263655 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:31PM (#4680246) Journal
    Its about the games, as I am sure it is for many ./ers. I want to be able to play WC3, Sims, Neverwinter Nights and Unreal 2k3. You cant do this on linux, no way. Not even with WINE, (good luch getting it to work, and its no where near as stable as XP). And while you have the OS up for gaming, its just easier to keep it up for surfing and email etc. Before you know it, its your full time OS, except when you go out of your way to use linux. I do coding on my laptop, which runs linux, but I am not a full time coder, so XP gets more CPU Time.
  • by grandmaster_spunk ( 203386 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:32PM (#4680254)
    I run Linux on a laptop to play around with, but XP on my main computer. My biggest problem with Linux I find is the difficulty of installing things. I spend more time trying to install something, then finding out I need 'libXXXXX' or install some random packages. There needs to be some kind of utility that figures out dependencies, then goes and DOWNLOADS AND INSTALLS THEM for you. Until then, installing software on Windows is wayyy easier. Plus, I've spent more time trying to get decent DVD performance than anything else. Yuck.
  • Re:Games (Score:5, Informative)

    by sniggly ( 216454 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:32PM (#4680271) Journal
    games here too - although i bought winex and it does a very good job of running windows games on linux.

    Linux IS my favourite quake 3 platform, it runs it much better than windows!
  • Re:Simple: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Elladan ( 17598 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:33PM (#4680281)

    Warcraft III works fine on Linux.

    Go to

  • by disc-chord ( 232893 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:37PM (#4680393)
    Look I love FreeBSD, don't get me wrong. My server runs FreeBSD, my router box runs FreeBSD... but my desktop machine is running Windows 2000.

    For me Windows 2000 is just like Linux, except it runs desktop apps which is a nice bonus for a desktop OS. It's not the interface, believe me (I refused to go to Windows 95 for the longest time because of my preference towards CLI). It's just the simple fact that there are so many more exciting apps for Windows.

    Whenever there is a neat new technology out it always comes out for Windows first, then *nix, then Mac. (Recent Examples: P2P, PAR, Bottler, etc.) As a fan of technology I want to run the technology as soon as I can download it... not wait for a port! Sure there are ports for nearly every P2P protocol out for NIX, and there are PAR clients, and yes there's even Buttler... but these versions are always months behind in development compared to their Windows counterparts.

    Going hand in hand with technology is, of course, games. One can only play so much Tux Racer before going back to Windows for Mafia or the latest Half-Life/Quake Mod.
  • Re:well.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Elladan ( 17598 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:39PM (#4680429)
    • WC3: Runs fine on linux, see
    • The Sims: Linux port available, see
    • Neverwinter Nights: Port is on the way
    • Unreal 2k3: Runs perfectly on linux, the linux native version is in the box you bought at the store
  • by einhverfr ( 238914 ) <> on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:39PM (#4680434) Homepage Journal
    Same here. My home network is Linux (RedHat 7.x and 8). My parents use Linux, and I use it for most everything.

    Unfortunately at my day job I run Windows XP because that is what the corporate tools run on. All the more important to work for myself.

    OK I will admit one other thing--

    Ithink that there is a very good chance that if I ran a large-scale company, that Windows would be on the desktop because of Active Directory and Group Policy Objects. No, OpenLDAP can't do quite everything AD can, and sometimes, GPO's can be very helpful. Maybe we can get an LDAP-enabled Linuxconf for administrating OU's ;)
  • 61% use Windows (Score:2, Informative)

    by AnhZone ( 139289 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:40PM (#4680461) Homepage
    Actual server log data shows that 61% of Slashdot readers use Windows (among those who visited this Ask Slashdot link []). .
    22% of Slashdotters use *nix (90% of them Linux) and 6% Macintosh.

    Anh Zone
    Patriotism is the conviction that your country is superior to all others because you were born there. (GBS)
  • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:44PM (#4680555) Homepage
    Works great on my iBook. It's overpriced, but it works better for me than Gimp or Corel PhotoPaint 10.
  • by limekiller4 ( 451497 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:48PM (#4680650) Homepage
    I have two machines -- one dual-boots Win2k and Debian, the other is dedicated Windows and I despise Microsoft.

    This machine, the one that dual-boots, only goes into Windows to play games (and if it wasn't for America's Army, that would never happen). The other machine is permanently booted into Windows and I use that exclusively for my media files; streaming video (news), audio, mp3's, etc.

    So I guess the reason for Linux is all my primary use. Surfing, email, developing PHP code. Everything else is booting into Windows because it is generally dirt easy to set up and handles media with no issues.

    I'm a linux fan but lord only knows that I'm still a bit hazy on driver modules, how they work, how to troubleshoot, etc. Anything but the most basic problem in Linux generally has me spending a good chunk of time trying to fix it. The difference is that with Linux it is fixable, but with Windows the worst-case scenario is a re-install. And since there is nothing important there and on a seperate partition, that's not such a bad thing.
  • Re:VPN Client (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tomun ( 144651 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:50PM (#4680695)
    This Message [] will tell you how.
    Google for sidewinder freeswan to find more, I did.
  • Re:well.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Colin Walsh ( 1032 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:51PM (#4680726)
    Maybe you were just listing the games that you play regularly, and you already know this; but Unreal 2k3 has Linux support in the box on CD3 [] and (hopefully) Neverwinter Nights should have a Linux client that you can download here [] within the next few weeks.

    As a Public Service Announcement(tm) to anyone who's into gaming and Linux, or is considering installing Linux, you should peruse Linux Games [] and The Linux Game Tome [] every once and a while. Maybe if people are more aware that commercial games are ported to Linux we can have fewer people trying to run Quake III in WINE (Ugh!).

  • by 8282now ( 583198 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @06:06PM (#4680961) Journal
    Sorry you didn't get the sarcastic intent of the comment.
    The idea was to simultaneously mock the anti-warez/anti-piracy tendency of some of the major s/w houses as being counter-productive in getting mind/market share in a highly competitve market.
    I too realize that many people who would never have had the opportunity (due to price) to work with some s/w packages get introduced to them through less then approved means. I know I'm hesitant to purchase s/w without there being a way to really work the system through its paces in a production environment.
    I am, fortunate, to be able to use, almost exclusively, open products (LAMP) in all my personal & professional needs. As such, I advocate their use as much as I can. ... just my 2 cents worth.....
  • Re:File Managers (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rehdon ( 25434 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @06:13PM (#4681047)
    Gentoo (
  • by davew666 ( 555119 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @06:28PM (#4681192)
    Whenever there is a neat new technology out it always comes out for Windows first, then *nix, then Mac

    This is not true, what about Firewire? This is only around now because Mac stuck with it, and it was then picked up by the PC manufacturers.
  • this is it's strange (Score:5, Informative)

    by ciryon ( 218518 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @06:45PM (#4681331) Journal
    this discussion turned out: "Use Windows, or use Linux". For most people Linux just isn't ready as a desktop OS, even if the apps are there.

    But there's NO EXCUSE not to use a Mac. And, no, they're not as expensive as everyone thinks. You can get a really fast iBook or eMac for $999. The apps, are there, stability, UNIX, ease of use and power.

    It doesn't matter if you can get a Super-Athlon 2.6 Ghz at half the price of a PowerMac if the OS sucks.

    My explanation why Windows is so popular, that noone has mentioned so far, is that people pirate software. A lot. It's extremely easy to find all kinds of windows apps/games without paying for them. Why do you think the filesharing apps are so popular? You can get the latest game within an hour and don't pay a dime for it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15, 2002 @06:47PM (#4681354)
    Gimp doesn't support cmyk. It also(linux) has crap for color management. Why not ask Adobe to port it?

    This is the sort of common bullshit answer that fucking shits me. By using CMYK you are supporting a print industry that insists on sitting on its ass and not moving forward. The technology to print in CMYK is archaic. It was around at the start of the 20th century.

    Don't use CMYK. Get your print houses to upgrade, and don't let them bullshit you into believing you HAVE to use CMYK - RGB is what's best supported by digital technology, and print bureaus that don't see this will succumb to those who use more modern systems
  • by Sketch ( 2817 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @07:14PM (#4681638) Homepage
    > 1. Until ALL games run under Linux without much difficulty, I simply don't have any choice here.

    True, unless you're into first person shooters (which are one area where the PC definately beats consoles, as others have mentioned). That's the only game category I know of with a wide selection of popular games available under Linux.

    > Nearly all the Xbox and PS/2 games in the world don't hold up to a single quality PC game.

    The same can be said in reverse, as well. Nearly all the PC games in the world don't hold up to a single quality PS2 game. ;)

    > 2. I work at a Microsoft only shop. It's sad, it's infuriating, and I have little choice.

    > To VPN into work, (I believe there are others as well)

    > connect to source safe, upload code to the servers,

    I know nothing about sourcesafe, can't help you here.

    > run terminal services,

    > connect to SQL Server 2000 (Microsoft's only GOOD non-gaming product)

    > I have to use windows.

    But maybe not quite as much as you think... ;)
  • by jonabbey ( 2498 ) <> on Friday November 15, 2002 @07:20PM (#4681692) Homepage

    You're still arguing that it is X's C-S design alone that is causing the problems you're talking about. The C-S design is an easy thing to single out.. "the other window systems don't support network graphics, and they are faster, so it must be the C-S design causing the problem" is not a valid logical argument. That's not to say that it mightn't be the problem, of course, but it's not to say it is, either.

    Having to do context switches between the client and the server all of the time is a real issue, certainly. It is one that can be addressed through means other than simply throwing out 20 years of software developed on Unix, though.

    Keith Packard wrote a good presentation on this, Efficiently Scheduling X Clients [] at USENIX 2000.

    Something like the improvements to the X server's internal behavior mentioned in that presentation (or in the associated paper, see Keith's Publications Page [] for more), in conjunction with Linux kernels more optimized for low-latency multiprocess scheduling could help the performance issues a great deal without having to junk the whole system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15, 2002 @07:46PM (#4681891)
    Somethings only run under Windows and have no equivalent Windows counterparts:
    1. ForteInc's AGENT newsreader
    2. Sonic Foundry's Vegas Video, Sound Forge and Acid Pro
    3. Mediaware's M2-Edit Pro
    4. Ahead's NERO
    5. Cyberlink's PowerDVD XP
    6. Sonic's ReelDVD/Scenarist
    7. Ulead's DVDWorkshop
    8. DVD2SVCD
    9. WinExplorer/ExtremeHU
    And of course, the idiots who send me stuff in proprietory Microsoft formats (e.g., .DOC files).

    And of all these, which of these is the MOST important???
  • by Trelane ( 16124 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @08:04PM (#4682053) Journal
    FYI, I have a USB Zip drive that works fine. Gets detected, I mount it, use it, unmount it. Or, alternately, have it automount, which I did for a while as a demo. (OK. Admittedly, it has a problem under 2.4 series after I suspend the laptop and bring it back, but it works great until the suspend. It's fixed in 2.5.47, though, and I hope the kernel developers read my email.)

    Anyhow, the message is, it works in other distros and thus was probably a bug in Mandrake and Mandrake should have been notified. Were they? Nothing's going to change unless people help out.
  • by edunbar93 ( 141167 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @08:09PM (#4682095)
    Heh. Angband doesn't need to be played under windows either. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15, 2002 @08:10PM (#4682097)
    God, what a fucking idiot. Do you ever research the subjects you spew crap about, or do you just let your ass run the show and keep crapping out stupid thoughts?

    As the other replies said, you CAN'T print RGB. CAN NOT. Anyone who tells you they can print RGB directly is either a stupid fucking moron like you or is lying. They have to convert to CMYK at some point in the process - whether ahead of time or within the printer hardware.

    Like the other guy said, RGB and CMYK are two completely different color models developed for two completely different media - light and ink. Light does not mix the same way ink does. Period. Imbecile.

    True graphics professionals will make sure that what they manipulate on the screen is exactly what they get on the paper. Ever wondered why your printed porn doesn't have exactly the same colors and shading as on your screen? Probably not, you were too busy drooling and whacking off. But anyway, Photoshop has good support for translation of the different color models and calibration to match colors as precisely as possible. Gimp sucks ass at that. Even less, really, it doesn't have any facilities whatsoever for that. That's because it's a hard problem and only Photoshop has done it well enough for professionals.

    Did I mention that you're a fucking retard?
  • Evolution!!! (Score:3, Informative)

    by FreeLinux ( 555387 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @08:17PM (#4682157)
    Give Ximian Evolution a try it is a perfect replacement for Outlook!

    But I think what you really meant to say was Exchange. And here the solution is far more difficult. But, you don't have to replace Exchange in order to replace Outlook.

    Using Evolution you can connect to and use your existing Exchange server via POP3 or better yet IMAP4. But if you want full on Exchange functionality in Evolution you need to buy the Evolution Exchange Connector. It is a per client add-on that Ximian sells for $40 (I think).

    Additionally, replacing Exchange itself will get a whole lot easier in the next couple months. Look for OpenExchange from Suse and Kolab from KDE.
  • Re:Right On iBrother (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15, 2002 @08:26PM (#4682228)
    Are you an idiot or trolling? I can't tell.

    The PowerMac [] is the most upgradeable Mac there is. Need to swap out your optical drive with something better? Find any IDE/ATAPI drive on pricewatch, and swap it out, just like a PC. The newest ones have two optical drive bays, so no need to swap. Need to add a hard drive? Same deal. I've done both on my system - swapped out the CDRW drive with a Pioneer DVD writer and added a 120G hard drive. Easy as pie. Opening the case is kind of hard for people used to PC cases, though... you have to pull the latch and swing it down. No screws, sorry. More details here []. You can add PCI cards, more memory, swap out the CPU module, and plenty more.

    Then there's external peripherals. Add FireWire hard drives, USB printers, speakers, audio interfaces, digital cameras and video cameras, and quite a bit more. If it supports USB or FireWire, chances are it'll just work. Yeah, too bad you can't plug stuff into a Mac to upgrade or expand it.

    Notebooks and iMacs are upgradeable too. All of them are user-upgradeable for memory (first I did with my new iBook was pop in an extra 512 meg chip, took all of 5 minutes), and of course they can take all the same external FireWire and USB devices.

    Yeah, whatever. Keeping a PC just because you can upgrade it is a stupid reason vs. a Mac. If anything you can upgrade a Mac more! Now, there are plenty of other legitimate reasons to go PC instead of Mac, but this is not one of them. How ridiculous!
  • Why I use Windows XP (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mondain98 ( 562481 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @08:27PM (#4682230)
    While I'm all for Linux where applicable, all my primary systems are XP for the following reasons:

    1) Cost is footed by work. (Also, ActiveDirectory domain support is necessary) 2) Huge selection of apps (Cakewalk's Guitar Tracks Pro on Linux? I wish.) and games. 3) Desktop usability that blows Linux out of the water. 4) Intuitive application paths, no dependency hell. 5) Wide selection of hardware drivers not written by 14-year-old Koreans. 6) Years of familiarity, for what its worth.

    While I run several 2000 Adv Svrs including IIS servers, I do feel that Linux/Apache is a killer combo and look forward to mastering Apache 2.0.

    So while I am primary a Windows guy, I dont knock either Linux or Windows just for the sake of knocking.

  • Here's my list. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mustang Matt ( 133426 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @08:54PM (#4682410)
    Looks like everyone pretty much beat me to it for this thread so I doubt this will get read, but here goes...

    Before I start, let me say that I WANT to switch to linux and I'm almost there.

    I should also say that all of my servers except one are running some form of linux (usually SuSE). I keep one IIS server around for customers that need ASP and because I started on the Microsoft side.

    Alright here goes...
    1. The single biggest reason that I haven't switched 100% to linux is driver support. Windows has done this right, you plug in hardware and download a driver or pop in a CD and walah, your hardware works. I know this isn't 100% true, but it's at least 90% true. Linux hardware support has grown leaps and bounds over the past couple of years, but the problem is when you run into problems... If you've got an odd ball network card or other device that just doesn't want to work under linux. I think over time, companies will release linux drivers at the same time, but hopefully some of them will learn to release linux source for their drivers so that their products will rock.

    2. Speed... Windows XP on my old 650 MHz Sony VAIO w/256 mb of ram runs circles around KDE for the most part. I've never tried Gnome just because I don't know how to easily switch using SuSE's built in management (yast). Anyone want to point me in the right direction for a how-to?

    2. Macromedia Homesite... I really love how easy it is to use Macromedia homesite and have a nice easy global search and replace tool that doesn't require me to learn regular expressions but allows them if I know them. The color coding and various other features make it my ASP/PHP script editor of choice. Maybe it would run under Wine, but I want native speed and stability and macromedia hasn't announced a linux version yet.
    Zend Development Environment is the closest thing I've found that's acceptable but ironically I've never run it under linux.

    3. I like Outlook Express. It's fast, it's easy, it has all the features I need (except the ability to disable html, but you can buy noHTML for $20). I would use Mozilla but it can't tie multiple email addresses to one identity. I found the feature request for this on bugzilla, but nothing has really happened with it yet. Once Mozilla gets that single feature, it will replace the Opera/Outlook Express combo I use now.

    4. Gnucash is getting better, but there are a whole lot of things I need to do (Quicken) that it can't do such as recurring transactions and loan calculations.

    5. Usability... There are times when things just don't work as expected. Windows software generally costs money, but most software works as expected (most of the time.)

    A couple of the things I hate are that when I hit abort and nothing happens. Different applications behave this way. Sometimes I have this problem in windows as well, but on a slower linux system it's terrible!

    Also, sometimes I'll be doing things like running GNUcash's QIF import and suddenly the window I was working with gets set behind the one I was formerly working with... Little stuff like that drives me bonkers.

    I can't get Gnomemeeting to work... Ah, the list goes on and on. I like linux a lot, especially for server stuff, but on the desktop, it has potential and it really can do some great stuff (and the price is certainly right.) but I can't quite switch over yet...
  • by jkeyes ( 243984 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:33PM (#4682628) Journal
    This is the problem with linux right here. People think that with Linux you're suppost to be some sort of programmer to use it and yet there is virtually no support for it. If I went into a linux chat room and said okay I want to switch over how do I do it, I would be either ignored or told to go to mandrake/red hat's website and read how to do it. Then once I did that would I be able to get help? doubtful. I installed Mandrake 8.1 once and I was going to use it but I needed help, I can't remember what I needed now but I went to a mandrake room and asked waited, waited, waited, nobody answered! Yet when I used BeOS and went into a BeOS getting help was as easy as pie! If some company would step up to the plate and provide a GOOD Linux support site for at least RH and Mandrake that you can download and is somewhat free Linux would have a small chance until you can get noncynical tech support I'm sticking with windows.
  • by dextr0us ( 565556 ) <dextr0us AT spl DOT at> on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:50PM (#4682708) Homepage Journal
    if you've use netware, you realize that AD is just a want to be NDS. I really prefer NDS over AD, but its just personal preference.
  • my $0.02 (Score:2, Informative)

    by athlon02 ( 201713 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @10:35PM (#4682959)
    It does bug me that M$ has so much money and power. However, I've grown kind of numb to the arguments. I use WinXP Pro and MacOS X 10.1.5 mostly. I really like FreeBSD, but much of what I need to do is accomplished much faster and easier under WinXP Pro or Mac OS X. I know some tend to do it for the kewlness factor, as though the tougher the OS is to manuever and the more coding you have to do to make it work for you, the better you are, or some such thing. But I already know C, C++, x86 assembler, 6812 assembler, pascal (and Delphi), javascript, perl, mysql statements well enough to do almost anything I need for my computer engineering classes, for dynamic webpages, or whatever else. I don't see any reason for me to beat my chest and show how good I am. After installing about 6 OSes (and numerous versions and variations of some of those OSes) perhaps 50 times over the years, I don't care to show off. I just want the computer to do what I need when I need it to. So I suppose in summary, right tool for the right job...

    When I want to play oggs, mpeg2 videos, DVDs, games, code in VC++, Delphi or perl, etc, etc. I can use my machine with WinXP.

    When I want to do any of that with a nicer gui and unix underpinnings along with mobility, I use my iBook with OSX.

    That's my $0.02, take it for what it's worth :)
  • by shellbeach ( 610559 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @11:06PM (#4683126)
    BTW: GIMP, how do you draw a straight line? Start point -> End Point?

    You cant do that without reading the manual. The simplest thing, the first thing every user attempts, is impossible without reading the manual.

    No, I'm sorry, but I worked it out instantly - you use the pencil or the paint tool, click at the start point and hold down shift ... you see the outline that shows you where the line is with a cross at the pointer ... then click again and you've drawn a line. But it gets better! Hold down shift again and you'll get a straight line from the last point ... and you can keep doing this all day if you want.

    Now, you say this isn't intuitive? But then how do you select a block of files in a file manager? You select the start point, hold down shift and select the end point, and all the files in between are selected. How do you select a block of text? You click the start point, hold down shift and click the end point, and all the characters in between are selected. So what more obvious way to paint all the pixels between two points than to use click, shift-click? How could it be easier?

    (Don't know where you got that stuff about the alt key from, btw ... alt gives you the colour picker tool ... :)

    BTW - how do you change the dpi of a graphic in Photoshop? Ever tried it? Or tried looking it up in the help system, either? Did that make sense to you any less than drawing a straight line in the Gimp?

    Each to his own, I guess, and if you're happy paying thousands of dollars for photoshop then it's your loss. (mind you, I also don't see why you'd use VI when there's a far better and open-sourced editor called VIM, so maybe you just like closed-source software or something ... :)

  • Patent evergreening (Score:3, Informative)

    by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @11:20PM (#4683196) Homepage Journal

    Trademarks don't expire. They last as long as the name has not become generic.

    Copyrights don't expire. Disney can usually get the EU Parliament and the US Congress to pass repeated blanket copyright term extension laws.

    Patents, on the other hand...

    Digital imaging and printing has been around for a long time. Hasn't the patent [on color matching] expired by now, or due to expire shortly?

    ...don't expire. There is a practice called "patent evergreening" where a patent holder makes minor additional disclosures, such as the process or an intermediate product. It's even worse in the drug world, where once a drug has fallen out of patent and the slightly improved replacement with fewer side effects is on the market, the pharmaceutical company lobbies to get the older drug ruled "unsafe" and pulled from the market before generics pop up. It happened with Seldane [].

    That's why GIMP won't support color matching for the foreseeable future.

  • by theforest ( 99345 ) on Saturday November 16, 2002 @12:15AM (#4683454)
    I am an independent contractor and generally read and post to SD from my contract worksite. Unfortunately, that is a large idiotic midwestern corporation that insists on windows everything on each and every desktop in the entire organization. thus I have no choice (other than my choice of browser).

    I happen to be posting this response from home office, which consists of: cable modem with a firewall/server mandrake 9, a desktop redhat 8, and spare old TI laptop with mandrake 7.2. I have not found any need for Microsoft anything at the home office and can easily interface with the outside "Microsoft world" with openoffice, acroread, evolution, and a mozilla based browser.

    No reason for windows at my office, NO CHOICE at customer worksite.

  • by Pooua ( 265915 ) on Saturday November 16, 2002 @02:29AM (#4684090) Homepage
    Assertion: "What _new_ technology has M$ made? They only steal technology from others, bastardize it, then pass it off as there own."

    Rebuttal: If by bastardize it you mean change it to suit their needs, the needs of their users, and make several big improvements - you are very right...

    I am not certain where you are coming from, but it is an indisputable fact that Microsoft rarely (if ever) invents the technology that it markets. Back in the mid-90s, industry pundits used the term, "leveraging" to describe this behavior. Examples are, of necessity, numerous. Here are a few examples off the top of my head, that every computer hobbiest should know:

    1) DOS and Windows both contain code originally written by Digital Research for CP/M. In fact, DOS is a CP/M clone, re-compiled for the 16-bit microcomputer.

    "on July 24, 1996, Caldera Inc. filed a private Federal Antitrust Lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. for alleged illegal activities and unfair practices in the marketing of MS-DOS and its successors, including Windows 95 and Windows 98, both of which are still Digital Research CP/M at their essential core. The lawsuit was settled out of court in January 2000 at which time Microsoft Corporation agreed to certain terms and paid certain funds to Caldera Inc."

    CP/M: The First PC Operating System []

    2) Visual Basic was derived from the work of Alan Cooper (aka, "The Father of Visual Basic"), who had created a new Windows shell he called, "Tripod." Microsoft bought Tripod from Alan Cooper and code named it, "Ruby."

    Why I am called "the Father of Visual Basic" []

    3) File compression had a rough birth into Microsoft's official OS distribution. Originally, Microsoft did not offer any data compression utilities, but several other companies did. One company, named, "Stac," lent their disk compression utility for Microsoft to evaluate. Microsoft included Stac's code in MS-DOS 6.0, but Stac sued, claiming that there was no licensing agreement for distribution (IBM also included Stac's code in PC-DOS, but they had a distribution license, and so were not sued). The two companies settled out of court. Microsoft initially pulled its disk compression software off the market, but then returned it after the settlement.

    You see, the problem with your comment is that it's way too left-wing to ever be completely true

    Left Wing or not, he is reasonably accurate.

    while Microsoft has definately done some things that are a bit (ok, in some cases a lot) underhanded, that doesn't have anything to do with the quality of their software,

    Stating that Microsoft has not invented the technology it markets is not the same thing as claiming that the quality of their product is poor.

    which is getting better every release and starting to rival Linux on several very important issues.

    Considering that Microsoft had about a 15-year head start over Linux, you make a sad statement.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 16, 2002 @03:57AM (#4684394)
    So I guess I'd switch to Linux or the Mac if I thought their communities were open and accepting.

    Have you ever talked to a Mac Users' Group? They're a large part of the reason Apple didn't go under. They work by being open and accepting.

    One thing I'll have to point out is that they work because people meet in the flesh. With rare exceptions, online groups are almost always closed, largely because online there are so many trolls and anonymous cowards.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 16, 2002 @04:13AM (#4684435)
    If the lisence is a problem, try nano which is a GNU Pico clone
  • by The Smith ( 305645 ) on Saturday November 16, 2002 @09:24AM (#4685101) Homepage
    How much do you charge for a product which can be replicated infinitely at nominal cost?

    Enough so that the expected sales of the product multiplied by the charge per unit equals the fixed development cost that you have already borne.

  • by facelessnumber ( 613859 ) <drew@pi[ ] ['ttm' in gap]> on Saturday November 16, 2002 @12:19PM (#4685624) Homepage
    Works great for me - I do have 512mb, but only a quarter of that's allocated to VMware. If you're not sucking up most of that 128mb in the background running Gator, ICQ banner ads, a monstrous WinAmp 3 skin, Bonzi Buddy and AOL then you're fine. The trick to VMware is using a minimal Windows installation, running as few apps as possible and doing everything else in the host OS. I have three monitors configured without Xinerama, I run Vncviewer in fullscreen mode on the right side with VMware minimized so that I can share the mouse easily and still see my images in the proper size, and Windows still is actually running faster under VMware than it did natively because of its relatively basic "hardware" and low-calorie environment.
  • by zojas ( 530814 ) <> on Saturday November 16, 2002 @12:47PM (#4685728) Homepage
    Linux needs one thing: A source code installer, analogous to the Wise installation Wizard. This would do more to help linux become a viable desktop OS than anything else. I like linux, but I HATE fucking around with ./configure and crap like that just to install a program.

    It's already in production. It's called emerge and it is the install tool for that new distribution everyone's talking about, gentoo [].

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".